Unit 6

Reading Comprehension

Steps to read well

  1. Skim once as rapidly as possible to determine the main idea before you look at the questions. Do not worry about words you do not know at this stage.

  2. Underline the words that you do not understand to facilitate a complete understanding of the passage. This will enable you to solve the vocabulary questions quicker.

  3. Look through the words carefully. You are advised to maintain the order in which the questions appear in the test paper. Read intensively the portion relevant to the answer.

  4. Concentrate on the vocabulary items and puzzle out from the context the meanings of those words you do not know.

Skimming while reading
  1. Read the title of the passage/ poem very carefully, if given. Determine what clues it gives you about the passage/poem.

  2. Watch for keywords like causes, results, effects etc. Do not overlook signal words such as those suggesting controversy (e.g., versus, pros and cons), which indicate that the author is intending to present both sides of an argument.

  3. Concentrate on the main ideas and ignore details. Most passages require at least two readings. Before writing the answer, check the questions again to be sure you have understood them.

Attempting a Comprehension Passage
  1. First of all, read the passage quickly study the questions given at the end of your passage.

  2. Start your second reading of the passage. This reading should be thorough. Underline key sentences or words related to the given questions.

  3. An alternate method could be to go through the questions first, which gives a rough idea about the content or subject of the passage. It becomes easier to underline the keywords while going through the passage and will help to reach the answers faster.

  4. While answering the questions, try not to give vague or general answers; be specific; sometimes students use one general description when four or five points have to be made. Avoid general answers.

  5. Write in short, simple sentences unless required to do otherwise.

  6. Do not repeat yourself. This is a waste of time. Avoid using slang. Do not use vague words when a precise one will do.

  7. Make sure that you use your own words as far as possible. This means that you must summarise and’ interpret information; never copy whole ‘chunks’ from the passage.

  8. When answering factual questions, i.e., questions that involve words like ‘what7, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’, do not include information not given in the passage. While answering the ‘why’ question, you may begin your answer with ‘This is because of a similar phrase.

  9. While answering vocabulary questions, determine the part of speech of the word. Your answer should have the same part of speech.

Reading Comprehension Worksheets

1. a) con-fi-dent b) del-i-cate c) po-et-ic d) sen-si-tive

2. a) ad-mi-ra-ble b) app-ro-priate c) com-pli-cated d)nec-es-sar-y

3. a) or-i-gin b) oc-cur c) lim-it d) of-fer

4. a) in-stru-ment b) cal-en-dar c) at-mos-phere d) ad-vise

5. a) ca-nal b) de-moc-ra-cy c) char-ac-ter d) suc-cess

6. a) mu-si-cian b) ne-ces-si-ty c) au-thor-i-ty d) pho-to-graph

7. a) man-age b) con-nect c) o-blige d) re-veal

8. a) a-tom-ic b) dif-fer-ent c) se-ri-ous d) vi-ol-ent

9. a) ac-ci-dent b) ma-chin-e-ry c) res-tau-rant d) tel-e-phone

10. a) mar-riage b) mys-ter-y c) ben-e-fit d) ex-ist-ence

Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2010)

Today’s woman is a highly self-directed person, alive to the sense of her dignity and the importance of her functions in the private domestic domain and the public domain of the world of work. Women are rational in approach, careful in handling situations and want to do things as best as possible. The Fourth World Conference of Women held in Beijing in September 1995 had emphasized that no enduring solution of society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems could be found without the participation and empowerment of the women. The 1995 World Summit for Social Development had also emphasised the pivotal role of women in eradicating poverty and mending the social fabric.

The Constitution of India had conferred on women equal rights and opportunities political, social, educational and of employment with men. Because of oppressive traditions, superstitions, exploitation and corruption, a majority of women are not allowed to enjoy the rights and opportunities, bestowed on them. One of the major reasons for this state of affairs is the lack of literacy and awareness among women. Education is the main instrument through which we can narrow down the prevailing inequality and accelerate the process of economic and political change in the status of women.

The role of women in a society is very important. Women’s education is the key to a better life in the future. A recent World Bank study says that educating girls is not a charity, it is good economics and if developing nations are to eradicate poverty, they must educate the girls. The report says that the economic and social returns on investment in education of the girls considerably affect the human development index of the nation. Society would progress only if the status of women is respected and the presence of an educated woman in the family would ensure education of the family itself. Education and empowerment of women are closely related.